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  1. February

    Valentine Dance for Adults, Feb 10, 7:30-10:00pm; Studio
    Two Step–Feb 2, 9, 16–8;00pm  Rockies
    Interm Cha Cha — Feb 4, 11, 18, 25–11:00am
    Advanced Ballroom, Interm Tango Feb 6, 13, 20, 27 7:00 & 8:15pm
    Ballroom Basics, Interm Ballroom, Latin Basics–Feb 7, 14, 21, 28–6:00, 7:15, 8:15pm
    Swing Basics–Feb 8, 15, 22–6:00pm
    Cotillion Jan 26, Feb 2, 9, 16  4:30-6pm
    Formal Ball for Teens:  Feb 17   6:15-10:30pm  Phillips Event Center

     

  2. 2016 Class Act Etiquette Camp

    63 children and teens, ages 6-18,  graduated from the 2016 Class Act Etiquette & Dance Camps. How thrilled I was to receive so many written and verbal thank you notes from mothers and students.  When a 10 year old tells her mom he is starting to save money so she can attend next summer’s camp, and another mom tells me the camp has given her son such a boost in confidence and they are telling all their friends, I realize how valuable these social and life skills are to our young people.   How rewarding to have so many individual young people express the fun they had while we learned about good Character, Confidence, and Courtesy! Here are a couple of photos from the camps. Dates for Brazos Valley Cotillion and Formal Ball will be January  19, 26, February 2, 9, and Formal Ball February 11 or 180346 0361
  3. Student Showcase and Dance Was Magical!

    Ninety-six people enjoyed a delicious dinner, dancing to our wonderful DJ, Tom Byer, and over-the-top performances.  And what a privilege and a blessing to watch all of the teens and pre-teens, as well as the adults out on the dance floor.  I was in awe.

    Please congratulate all our performers:

    Grace Godfrey, Braeden Forsthoff, Karina Salkin, Daniel Minke, Maiya Ashley, Mark Salkin, Veronica Bender, Isaiah Minke, Darce Markowsky, Ben Fisher, Andi Salkin, Matthew Schmid, Cassidy Schmid, Heathryn Livingston.  Check out the videos on my Facebook page.  More photos coming soon!

    The good news is that this was our First Annual Student Showcase, so there will be another one next year!

  4. We ate, we danced, we laughed

    Thank you to everyone who came to the Dance Sampler Nights we held last month. The Salvation Army appreciated our donation. Overwhelmingly, the biggest request was for a beginner dance class in Quickstep, so you will see that dance offered at the first of the year. We had a lot of fun eating, dancing, and laughing, and we made some new friends. Remember the October private lesson special: 40% off for anyone new to private lessons.BrendaMattStudio

    Hope to see you all for the October 12th Dance Party for more fun. The lesson will be sliding doors in swing dance. Location: Bachman Center, 1520 Rock Prairie Rd.

  5. Cotillion and Formal Ball for Teens

    Was it Cinderella at the Ball?  Or might it have been students of the Brazos Valley?  Fifty-six of our local youth, ages 11-17, practiced their manners, their dining skills, and their dance skills at the annual Brazos Valley Cotillion, held the month of February on Thursday evenings.  Their Formal Ball was a special affair.  Each couple had the privilege of walking under the Saber Arch of the Ross Volunteers from our honorable Corps of Cadets.  Seated at beautifully decorated tables, the young ladies and gentlemen enjoyed a four-course meal followed by ballroom dancing.  Individual Dance Cards were provided giving the  order of dances for the evening.  Special performances were provided by Jordan and Ben Fisher, Amanda Vorpahl and Jordan Garcia, Irina Popova and Andrew Penn.  Our beloved DJ was Tom Byar.  Michael Bobinski of Bluefish Photography, was on deck to capture those special moments on camera. 

    The next Cotillion will be this summer, June 17-20, at our annual Class Act Etiquette & Dance Camp.  http://www.susansballroomdance.com/youth-classes/

  6. Are Bad Manners Ever OK?

     Is it every okay to have bad manners?

     That might seem like a strange question coming from someone who is so passionate about etiquette.

     However, the answer to this question could save your life.

     Last evening, there was a knock at my friend’s door. She was home alone with her 3-year-old daughter, cooking dinner. It was just getting dark outside.

     She peaked out the door, and a large woman was standing there. She asked her what she wanted and she started making all sorts of strange and inappropriate comments.

     Recently her community had an issue with teams of thieves in which one person knocked on the front door to distract the occupant, while the rest of the team broke into the house from the back.

     Her husband was not going to be home for a couple of hours, and she was scared. Something was clearly wrong with this situation. She spoke very sharply to the woman at the door and told her to go away immediately. Then she called the police and had her husband rush home.

     The fact is….there is a time to have bad manners — for you, and perhaps more urgently, for your kids.

     When we are in a situation that raises red flags and doesn’t seem right, or where we feel like we are or could quickly get into danger, then we need to react swiftly and with urgency.

     If you ever take a self-defense class the first thing they teach you is….

     When you are in danger, throw out everything you have ever learned about being polite. Scream in public. Make a scene. Do whatever it takes to distract the attacker and escape. If it comes to it, you bite, scratch, kick, and spit. Use anything around you as a weapon. Do what it takes to find an opening and get near people who can help. 

    This is especially relevant for our kids. We live in challenging times. Predators seem more common than ever before — and often they are people that our kids know and are supposed to trust. We need to teach them that in most situations, good manners are essential. However, we also need to teach them to get good at recognizing red flags, and knowing when it is acceptable and required to speak up, make a scene, and get out of danger fast. 

    Last night, thank goodness, some sharp words and a call to the police did the trick, and all is well at my friend’s home this morning. For once, bad manners paid off! 

    Check out Cotillion that starts February 7.  We won’t teach you self defense, but we will teach you good manners!

  7. Watch Mis Quinces tonight, Oct 22, 8:00pm, MTV3

    Be sure to watch “Mis Quinces” TV Show Monday, October 22, 8:00pm on MTV3.  I taped an etiquette lesson for a Reality TV show in August.  It is of a local girl, Jordan, in Bryan who is having her 15th Birthday Quincinera.      If you miss it, go to TVGuide.com and look for the past episodes.  Try this link if you are able to watch it tonight:

    http://www.tr3s.com/shows/quiero-mis-quinces-season-9/cast/quinceanera-jordan/  channel 555 on Suddenlink cable

    scheduled for Oct 22 Monday 9pm = 8pm Central time

  8. Six Year Olds Can Dance!

    Where has the summer gone?!  Dance camp is over.  It’s almost time for school.  But we sure had fun while it lasted.   We offered two camps this summer.  I wish you could have seen the 6-10 year olds.  I taught more dances to this age group than ever before.  In four days these children learned four dances—Merengue, Foxtrot, Waltz, and Swing!  These little ones learned to move to the music, they made new friends.  Aren’t these photos precious?

    At the Dance Camp for older kids, we had fun learning Merengue, Swing, Foxtrot, Waltz, and Tango!  The confidence level, as well as dance skills, escalated during that week.  Our pizza and dance party was a fun evening.  We mixed and mingled, danced to fun mixers, met a lot of new friends, ate pizza, and practiced our dance moves.  As most of you know, I dearly love these camps for kids. Giving them a foundation to build their life skills, their social skills, and  increase their confidence is a large part of why I hold these camps.  Let’s do it again next year!  The next teen/pre-teen dance party is in October.